miniPCR Genes in Space Food Safety Lab- Mars Colony at Risk
In this miniPCR Learning Lab™, you will help astronauts control an outbreak of pathogenic bacteria in space food bound for Mars! Learn how to use miniPCR™ (the PCR machine aboard the International Space Station), restriction analysis, and DNA gel electrophoresis to characterize bacterial strains and protect the health of astronauts.
miniPCR Genes in Space Food Safety Lab: Mars Colony at Risk
In this 120-minute miniPCR Learning Lab™, you will
help the International Space Agency control an outbreak of pathogenic
bacteria in space food bound for Mars! Learn how to use miniPCR™
(the PCR machine aboard the International Space Station), restriction
analysis, and DNA gel electrophoresis to characterize bacterial strains
and protect the health of astronauts.
This applied biotechnology investigation addresses a foodborne
illness outbreak through the same real-world methodologies that public
health and surveillance authorities use here on Earth. You’ll
learn molecular microbiology techniques relevant to the STEM job market,
and engage in a real-world problem with huge public health and economic
To learn more about miniPCR aboard the International Space Station, watch this video or visit www.genesinspace.org.
This miniPCR Learning Lab™ utilizes the following molecular techniques:
- PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification of bacterial genes
- Restriction digest, RFLP analysis
- DNA Gel electrophoresis, staining, and visualization
- Highlights real-world applications of molecular microbiology in public health.
The miniPCR Food Safety Lab kit contains reagents for 8 lab groups of 4 students:
- 2X EZ PCR Master Mix, Load-Ready™
- 3X Food Safety Lab Primer Mix
- 4 DNA samples to investigate, including controls
- Restriction enzyme XmnI
- 100 bp DNA ladder, Load-Ready™
- These reagents require frozen storage.
- Microtubes, PCR tubes, and electrophoresis reagents sold separately.
- None of the materials provided in the Food Safety laboratory kit
pose a health or food safety hazard. At no point are pathogenic bacteria
used; references to “pathogenic” and “non-pathogenic” strains or DNA
samples are used only to recreate a simulated Food Safety investigation
Free miniPCR Learning Lab™ resources:
Optional: Lab Companion Kit
Add all the consumables you need
for a class of 32 students: microtubes (50), PCR tubes (100), agarose
(10 blueGel Tabs x 0.4 g ea.), 20X TBE electrophoresis buffer (30 ml),
and GelGreen™ DNA stain, 10,000X (20 µl).
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